The Practice
The Candidate, Part II

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Ragdoll: C | 1 USERS: A+
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Twist, shout, then twist again

Bobby approaches and asks, "What happened?" Ellenor explains Keith's "digging his feet in." Okay. Their strategy: They call on Allison "up and down." And then they call Marsha. Don't know if it's up and down or not. The Lump apologizes. Ellenor tells him it's not his fault. Even though it kind of is his fault. But it's nice of Ellenor to make the gesture. The Three Amigos bust a move into the courtroom.

Allison's testimony. She was close to her father. She overheard her parents fighting. It would get worse. It would get better. The courtroom is very, very bright. Ellenor asks if Allison ever talked with her father about the problems between her parents. Yes. Did he ever talk to her about the affair with Mr. McNown? Ellenor asks if she thought her father would have told her about the affair? She does. Because every father should have a conversation with their daughters about their spouse's extracurricular activities. Because every parent should involve their kids in every little piece of their marriage. Because playing monkey in the middle with your daughter's emotions is really the right thing to do. What-freaking-ever. Allison's opinion is that her father did not know about the affair. Ellenor asks the girl to tell her story. The movie was sold out, so they came home. Allison went upstairs. She "heard them." And we get to hear her Symphony of Subtle Sub-truths. Pardon? Allison starts to get really snotty. Her mother and Mr. McNown were "in her bed, doing what they usually did when Dad and I were out of the house." Ellenor's jaw drops and she steps forward: "And you knew it was Mr. McNown?" Allison insists that her father didn't know about the affair. Pause. But she "certainly did." What, she didn't tell her father? No -- she went back to her room, "eventually." But first, she got the gun and shot him. Bam! Everyone in the courtroom stutters! Judge Flipping-Out Finkle screams: "Chambers!"

Said chambers. Ellenor jumps right in: "I had no idea she was going to say that. None of us did!" Helen doesn't believe that for a minute. The judge interjects. Did Allison ever before suggest that she was the shooter? Ellenor says no. Hunky DA tries to put in his two cents' worth, but he's railed back by the judge. Finkle wants to be the only one talking right now. Of course, Bobby takes that as a cue to open his charmingly disdainful trap: "Your Honour, none of us saw this coming." Except anyone who actually watches television. Except anyone who might have watched a courtroom drama in their time. You know on that little show called Law & Order where the daughter killed the lover because she was mad at her parents? Yeah, that one -- it reeks of familiarity, doesn't it? Helen claims that Allison committed "blatant perjury." Perhaps, but the judge suggests that the prosecution's only recourse is a rigorous cross. Well, Helen will make a deal right now. She'll drop all the perjury charges in exchange for Allison's admission that she lied. Okay, they have a situation. Ellenor shouldn't be representing the daughter; right now Allison needs her own counsel, and Ellenor doesn't think having Allison admit that she lied is in the best interests of the Senator. Hunky DA insists that Ellenor has an obligation to take the offer to her client. He's right. Oh, he is just so very, very right! They all start bickering, as people on The Practice are wont to do. Judge Finkle: "You have an offer to take to the girl. If she refuses, you can impeach her on the stand and then arrest her after her testimony." He points at Bobby, Ellenor, and Jimmy: "I want your bar cards by the end of the day." He's holding them until he can figure out whether or not this was one of the stunt The Firm is famous for encouraging clients to participate in.

Back out into the Den of Press Pleas, Team Ellison muddles their way back into the client room, where Ellenor tells off Allison. She's a smart aleck. Until Ellison interrupts and says, "I'm willing to plead guilty." Ellenor: "You want to plead guilty now?" Yes. Despite the fact that now he might actually have a shot at winning, he's not going to let his daughter take the fall for him. Marsha is suspiciously quiet. Allison, unfortunately, isn't. She wants to talk. Her father won't let her. "Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I just gave you reasonable doubt." Bobby: "You also just confessed, Allison." Blah they could try you for murder. Ha! Then she'll just say her confession was a lie to save her father! There! She's got the whole justice system worked out! Isn't she a smart senator's daughter? If he's acquitted, they can't try him again. Bobby insists that they could try her for perjury. Then Allison snarks back: "A fourteen-year-old girl trying to help her father. Something tells me I won't go to jail for that long." Damn, this kid is insolent. If I had talked that way to a grown-up, my mother would have killed me. I remember I tried to call a neighbour by his first name once instead of using a salutation, and I got grounded for a week. The music dongs away at an annoying pace: "Are you really so sure I committed perjury, Mr. Donnell?" For the second time this episode, Ellenor thinks she's got it all figured out: "You're both covering for her!" Ellison screams on about how he wants to plead guilty. He's the client, and he's going to plead guilty, conditioned upon the fact that nothing happens to the little spoiled brat sitting next to him. Man, this family is messed up. It's all lies and innuendo. You've got to wonder what the heck a Tuesday night dinner conversation would revolve around. "Could you pass the salt?" "Do you really want me to pass the salt?" "Just pass the salt." Pause. "I said PASS THE SALT."

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